We’re in planning mode for Christmas and cash is always a factor when you’re planning. I don’t have a fortune to spend on Christmas and in fact, I wouldn’t if I could. I want to ensure that my focus remains on Christ and not the pageantry of Christmas. A few years ago I learned a secret to earning extra cash for Christmas with little effort and I start on December 26 every year.
Waiting until the last minute is detrimental to your budget. If you start with a cap, you’re less likely to overspend. For me, it’s not just about the money, it’s also about living a life with temperance and self-control. I have one son. An only child is easily spoiled. I’m intentional about building his character and instilling values in him. Excess is something I do not want to breed.
So instead of giving him an unlimited amount of Christmas, I set limits. This year his list includes
- Something he wants (one major item on his list)
- Something he needs (Art supplies or science experiment equipment)
- Some to wear (I always buy pajamas he opens on Christmas eve…this helps with better Christmas morning photos)
- Something to read (He LOVES to read)
He does NOT wake up to a million toys to unwrap. His grandparents, aunts, uncles, and godparents can’t resist giving toys, in reality, he may still get too much stuff.
Other Christmas Expenses
But gifts aren’t the only expense of Christmas. There are countless parties (office, ugly sweater, school parties, church banquets, socials.) Gift exchanges, (work, church, friends, siblings). These things add up quickly.
And oh how I love to decorate for Christmas. Inside and outside is all out lights and glitter. I want all the things on Target shelves, and everywhere else. I could spend a fortune in Home Goods alone. But I don’t. I set a budget and I stick to it.
Christmas dinner can get expensive! Especially if you’re like me and like to try something new. I’ll have to tell you about my foiled very expensive dinner another day…
To top things off, I have two extra holidays in December…My birthday and my husband’s birthday, which are a week apart. Plus, the state gives us an extra bonus of having to renew our tag that month. Happy Birthday to us.
I start saving for Christmas on December 26, every year. It’s actually on autopilot and I do it without even thinking about it.
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How to Earn Extra Christmas Cash
Take advantage of Cash Back Services and Referral Programs anywhere you can. Here are my favorites.
Some of the programs below are referral links. If you sign up using my link I get a bonus. See how that already works for me? You can do the same thing. I typically save as much as I can for Christmas shopping.
1. Earn Extra Christmas Cash with Rakuten
Someone introduced me to cashback sites several years ago and I was hooked. The principle is simple, shop for stuff you already shop for and get a percentage back. The amount varies by retailer. It’s like an after-the-fact-coupon. Savings are paid out quarterly via pay pal or a check mailed to you.
Ibotta helped me save a minimum of $10 a month in my regular shopping just by submitting my receipts after grocery trips. This app makes couponing a snap. Small change yes, but $120 at Christmas is $120.
- Simply add the stores where you shop.
- Make your grocery list.
- Look for matching deals on the app.
- Snap a photo of your receipt when you get home
- Watch the cash roll in.
Get $10 of FREE money when you sign up using my link.
Shopkick is a phone app you can use to earn points for buying things in-store and online. I use it at places like Target and Best Buy. When you turn on location tracking, it will send you a notice when you walk in the store. Some Shopkicks are automatic just for visiting, other times the app will ask you to scan products. You can also upload your receipt and earn Shopkicks for specific purchases. Again, you can cash out for gift cards.
I stopped extreme couponing years ago because what I wasn’t paying for in cash I was losing in time. But there are a few things I couldn’t let go of and they were my cashback apps.
3. Invite your friends to Groupon
I don’t buy any local activity or visit a new restaurant until I check Groupon and Living Social. My husband and I visited one of those new escape rooms last month and went for $30 instead of $60 because I got a Groupon deal AND used a Groupon Coupon. If you refer friends and family to Groupon, you’ll earn $10 (for up to 10 people). That’s $100 to buy gifts for the people on your list.
4. Use Bank and Credit Cards Programs to Earn Extra Christmas Cash
Buyer beware. If you are wise, you can earn points and cash back from all the bank cards and credit cards you use. I say this with a caveat because some folk don’t have the discipline required to use credit wisely and it causes more harm than good. BUT if you are the responsible type that can use your credit cards for gas, grocery etc and pay it off every month, this is an excellent way to earn cash.
My family stopped using credit cards except for emergencies a long time ago. However, we still take advantage of cashback deals through our debit cards. Check with your bank to determine if they have a similar program. I literally received $50 cash back as I write this. Most times its small change, but again, change adds up.
The business world is not without plenty more online programs to save money. I try to stick to a few because too many can become overwhelming. Understand them for what they are…referral companies who earn money and marketing prowess. Use them to your advantage, but don’t stress over every cent. The ones that are easy are the ones that have browser applets so you don’t have to think about it
This blog post originally featured a giveaway with these lovely ladies. The giveaway has now ended.
Sinea Pies – Ducks ‘n a Row, Susan Renker – Culinary Envy, Linda Cassidy – A Labour of Life, Sarah Louderback – Devastate Boredom, Melissa Russo – The Farm Girl Gabs, Monica Geglio – Mommy & Love, Tammy Doiel – Creative K Kids, Kim Purvis – Made in a Day, Meredith Spidel – The Mom of the Year, Audrey Humaciu – That Recipe, Michelle James – Our Crafty Mom, Christine Luken – Your Strong Tower, Kari Carter (Jonard) – Keep it Simple, DIY, Trish Sutton – By Trish Sutton, Marie Dabbs – The Inspiration Vault, Marcy Lautanen-Raleigh – Backyard Patch Herbal Blog, Carrie Albrecht – Curly Crafty Mom, Whitney Johnson – Beauty, Baby, and a Budget, Lauren Becker – Shooting Stars Mag, Lauren Kim – Mom Home Guide, Leslie Clingan – Once Upon a Time & Happily Ever After, Carol Bray – The Red Painted Cottage, Emily Fish – Domestic Deadline, Kenyatta Harris – My Design Rules, Dana Lardner – Goods Giving Back & How In The World, Habiba Elkaihel – Craftify My Love, Tammy Adams – My Life Abundant, Pam Lamore – P.S. I Love You Crafts Erlene Amat – My Pinterventures
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